Delta flies high school runners on private jet after canceled flight: ‘First-class act’

Delta flies high school runners on private jet after canceled flight: ‘First-class act’


After a high school cross country team’s Frontier Airlines flight was canceled due to weather, the group needed a way to get to Orlando, Florida, for the Disney Cross Country Classic over the weekend. They turned to social media and got the attention of Delta Air Lines, prompting the carrier to step in to help out.

Delta spokesperson Drake Castañeda said the airline received messages on social media from members of the team of 80 high school runners from Ocean City, New Jersey, after their Frontier flight from Philadelphia to Orlando was canceled Thursday. 

“Super excited to fly down to Disney to run, but our flight got cancelled!!! @Delta can you help,” one of the messages read.

Delta worked to find a spare aircraft and reserve crew – and got the students (plus their chaperones) a private jet to Orlando. Philadelphia to Orlando isn’t a route Delta routinely serves.

The flight left Philadelphia around 3 a.m. EDT Friday morning and made it to Orlando shortly after 5 a.m.

“Thank you @Delta for getting us a private charter!! We will forever be grateful for your kindness and generosity,” the cross country team’s account posted. “Definitely a ‘first class’ act!!”

Frontier Airlines coordinated with Delta to arrange travel for the group after the cancellation. 

“We became aware that a sports group, traveling to a competition, was affected by the cancellation and our team began looking at other options to get them to Orlando as soon as possible,” Zach Kramer, a spokesman for Frontier, told USA TODAY. “We found the opportunity to book the group on a new flight with another airline and assisted with helping them make new travel arrangements.””

Delta came to the rescue of a high school cross country team after their flight to an Orlando race was canceled, chartering a flight to get them there on time.. (Photo: Courtesy of Matt Purdue)

The team’s race results made Delta’s efforts worthwhile: Both the varsity and junior varsity boys’ teams snagged first place in their respective races, and the girls’ teams received second place in varsity and fourth in junior varsity. 

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